All year round, visitors to Myanmar can enjoy the country’s warm and culture. The place I want to visit the most in Myanmar is Naga Land and Naga Traditional New Year Festival. Nagaland is a land of many festivals. However, one particularly special festival to visit is the Naga Traditional New Year Festival. Last year, I went Naga New Year Festival in Layshi, Sagaing, Burma.
This article includes that I knew some experiences and knowledge about one of the rarest festival in Myanmar, Naga Traditional New Year Festival.
What is the Naga New Year Festival?
Naga New Year Festival is one of the most fascinating and beautiful festivals on the annual calendar in Myanmar. The Naga New Year Festival is held from 14th January to 16th and sports competitions, photo booths, traditional dances as well as traditional costumes and music show will be performed in the event. Like many people around the world, the Naga have exciting and festive New Year’s celebrations. The Naga New Year is celebrated with lively dances and ceremonies, in beautifully ornate traditional dress. These dances are truly mesmerizing to watch- with skillful dancers proudly showing of traditions that have lasted thousands of years. The rhythmic beating of the drums and other instruments makes this an even more amazing spectacle to behold.
Each January the Naga ethic tribe’s New Year Festival takes place in the northern region of Myanmar. Naga people have more than 49 different clans with their own distinctive dresses and dialects. They held annually their New Year Festival on January 14. Naga traditional new-year festivals were celebrated community-wise where friends from far and near were invited. It was a time for families to reunite and for people to wish for bountiful harvests, success in the new year and for any illnesses to be healed. The Naga Festival pole is set up and all Naga people gathered at the opening ceremony on 14 January. On 15th, visitors attended the occasion and gifts were exchanged. And then, Naga traditional music and dance were performed and all present were served with Naga traditional food and rice wine. They pray for abundant crops and domestic animals and to have good weather on festival day. They worship to their deities by scarifying the animals. On the evening of the festival, a bonfire was set up and all joined the occasion. After good harvest and before the next year’s work, a feast is held annually. That moment is very significant for Naga people where they can share their experience in farming and they can discuss their work for the coming next year. The meaning of their songs and dances at the festival is anticipatory of good health, wealth, happiness, good climate and good crops for the coming new year. Their costumes are decorated with hornbill’s feathers and plumes, elephant tusks, tigers, bears and boar’s canines and paws, buffalos horns, shell, horse and goats tails. Moreover, they wear silver and bronze breads, bangles, bracelets, pendants and eardrops. One more interesting thing is every Naga man wear special palm leaf on each of their feet during the festival. Most of their costumes are red, black, green and white- meaning their courage and dexterity.
What can experience the Naga New Year Festival?
Naga traditional New Year Festival has become an occasion for friendship and amity, which will bring regional development. This Naga Traditional New Year Festival is cherished and preserved and it is an unforgettable experience for everyone. Those who are lucky enough to attend the festival will experience a rare, genuine opportunity to observe and photograph the Naga people of Myanmar and to learn about their rich culture. That said, it is with joy that the Naga people share their cultural traditions with those who make the journey to attend. As well as attending the festival, those who visit for Naga New Year may also like to take the opportunity to meet some people in the nearby village, to learn even more about the rich culture and traditions of the Naga in Myanmar.
How can visit the Naga New Year Festival?
The Naga Traditional New Year Festival is held every year and traditionally rotated in Nan Yun, Lashi and Lahe township. Naga township is situated in Sagaing region. Before Naga land we have to go Hkam Ti firstly. We can go Hkam Ti township by car, plane or ship. And then, Hkam Hi to Naga can only go by car. In 2020, the festival will be held in Lahe township, which is located in north-west Myanmar, high in the mountains near the border with India. Lahe is part of the Self-Administered Zone, as written in the Myanmar Constitutions. In order to attend the festival, visitors must obtain a permit or attend an organized tour group. By regulating who attend the festival, the Naga ensure that the festival is not overcrowded and that their culture is protected.
I am lucky enough to share in the joy and festivities of the Naga Traditional New Year Festival. Attending the Naga New Year Festival is sure to become a memory to treasure for life. It is incredible to have the opportunity to see a rich and beautiful cultures.